Fun Facts About Our Teachers & Principal


We sure do love our teachers, as well as our favorite leader, Principal Nelson. If you were ever curious about their favorite things, then you have come to the right spot. We asked Principal Nelson and the teachers to share some things they like to do, eat and more so we could get to know them a little better, and perhaps this info may be helpful to know throughout the year. Do you have some of the same favorites?


Click on a name below to jump to the teacher you're curious about or scroll through to view all of them:


Principal Nelson

Sra. Arbelo

Sra. Brannam

Mrs. Cast

Mrs. Gabriel

Mrs. Georgia

Mrs. Gerlach

Sra. Jacome

Srta. Moreno

Mrs. Paradise

Mrs. Poster


Kristen Nelson - Principal

Birthday: 11/17

Favorite holiday/season/time of year: Thanksgiving and winter

Favorite flower: Any and all

Favorite color: blue of course

Hobbies: gardening, riding my bike, exercising, hanging with friends and family, reading, and traveling

Favorite candle scents: Any and all

Favorite places to shop: Amazon

Favorite places to relax: Home and beach

Favorite places to dine: South of Nicks, Hendrix

Favorite breakfast and morning beverage: Anything with eggs and coffee or ice tea

Favorite lunch and beverage: salad and ice tea

Favorite snack/treat/dessert: nuts and raisins and granola bars


Maria Arbelo - 2nd Grade Teacher

Birthday: 9/17

Favorite holiday/season/time of year: My favorite time of year is any time that I am able to spend time with family and friends both near and far.

Favorite flower: My favorite flower is the plumeria.

Favorite color: My favorite color is purple.

Hobbies: My favorite thing to do in my free time is reading.

Favorite candle scents: My favorite candle scent is anything fruity.

Favorite places to shop: My favorite places to shop are Target and Loft.

Favorite places to relax: My favorite place to relax is in my backyard patio.

Favorite places to dine: Ooh so hard to decide. I do love eating! If I have to pick it would be anyplace that serves breakfast (my favorite meal of the day)!

Favorite breakfast and morning beverage: My favorite breakfast is something savory with something sweet like French toast and coffee is a must.

Favorite lunch and beverage: My favorite lunch is anything with fries :) and my beverage of choice for lunch would be any fruity lemonade.

Favorite snack/treat/dessert: Anything chocolate!

Other things that you love and think we should know about you: I feel so honored to be part of such an amazing learning community! I love being a teacher, students' laughter and joy is contagious!


Andrea Brannam - Kindergarten Teacher

Birthday: 2/27

Favorite holiday/season/time of year: Spring

Favorite flower: Daisies and succulents

Favorite color: Turquoise

Hobbies: Hiking, walks with friends, Bible study

Favorite candle scents: All the yummy smells

Favorite places to shop: Amazon, Target, Kohl’s, Dollar Tree

Favorite places to relax: The beach, Nail salon

Favorite places to dine: Cheesecake Factory, Panini Cafe, Shwack, sushi

Favorite breakfast and morning beverage: Sugar free black tea latte

Favorite lunch and beverage: Yummy salads, sparkling water

Favorite snack/treat/dessert: Nuts, dark chocolate, Keto friendly desserts

Other things that you love and think we should know about you: I love RH Dana! I love God! I collect Wonder Woman, class mascot is a monkey, I’m really trying to be healthy (minimal sugar and daily exercise).


Jody Cast - 2nd Grade Teacher

Birthday: 10/19

Favorite holiday/season/time of year: that's a hard one. Fall, Christmas

Favorite flower: peony

Favorite color: red and green

Hobbies: reading, hiking, surfing, camping

Favorite candle scents: pumpkin, peach, gardenia

Favorite places to shop: Anywhere on Del Mar, Tuvalu

Favorite places to relax: Mountains, beach, spa

Favorite places to dine: Beach Fire, Fisherman's, The Cellar, Sonny's, La Siesta

Favorite breakfast and morning beverage: Eggs, potatoes, yogurt, coffee with a little cream

Favorite lunch and beverage: chicken salad or soup and seltzer water

Favorite snack/treat/dessert: Doritos, nuts


Elizabeth Gabriel - 5th Grade Teacher

Birthday: 2/13

Favorite holiday/season/time of year: Spring

Favorite flower: Gerber daisy

Favorite color: Purple

Hobbies: Bodysurfing, Beach glass collecting, reading, gardening.

Favorite candle scents: Vanilla

Favorite places to shop: Target, Costco

Favorite places to relax: In nature

Favorite places to dine: Everywhere

Favorite breakfast and morning beverage: Bagels/coffee

Favorite lunch and beverage: Water

Favorite snack/treat/dessert: Chips/cookies


Lori Georgia - 3rd Grade Teacher

Birthday: 6/26

Favorite holiday/season/time of year: My favorite season is summer! I love the sunny skies, being outside, spending time at the beach and being with my family.

Favorite flower: I love all flowers, and don't have any particular "favorites", but my mom and I used to plant "Johnny Jump Ups" so those have a special place in my heart.

Favorite color: aqua

Hobbies: My hobbies include reading, working out, spending time with friends and family.

Favorite candle scents: I always go for the tropical, summery, beach or citrus type scents.

Favorite places to shop: My favorite places to shop are: GAP, Athleta, Stitch Fix, Pier 1, Costco

Favorite places to relax: My favorite places to relax are at the beach or on my comfy couch with a blanket.

Favorite places to dine: Luciana's, Thai Dara, Stuft Pizza, Agostino's, JFAT, Wind and Sea, Proud Mary's- so much great local food. As you can see, I like to eat!

Favorite breakfast and morning beverage: In the morning I like to drink coffee. I typically just have a banana or some yogurt and granola, but if I am splurging, I like to have a Coffee Importers California Bagel or a vegetarian breakfast burrito from anywhere.

Favorite lunch and beverage: My favorite lunch is a big salad filled with all kinds of yummy goodies or a veggie sandwich. I like to drink iced teas (black or green) or water.

Favorite snack/treat/dessert: A go-to snack for me at home is cheese and crackers, chips and salsa or guacamole, and popcorn. It's hard for me to pass up homemade baked goodies, especially if it's chocolate brownies. I also like ice cream.

Other things that you love and think we should know about you: I love teaching, and have taught at RH Dana since 1999. The children and families of our school have a special place in my heart. I enjoy trying new things, sports, traveling, and having adventures. I am a mom of three busy sons and my husband is a teacher at Dana Hills High School. I am an alumni of Dana Hills High and my parents still live in the area. I am looking forward to this school year and feel fortunate to be working with all the students and staff at RH Dana. Go Whales!


Meagan Gerlach - 3rd/4th Grade Teacher

Birthday: 11/25

Favorite holiday/season/time of year: Holiday- Christmas/ Season- summer

Favorite flower: Orchid

Favorite color: Blue

Hobbies: Spending time with my family, beach, hiking, Peloton

Favorite candle scents: Gardenia or Jasmine

Favorite places to shop: Nordstrom

Favorite places to relax: Beach

Favorite places to dine: Baja Fish Tacos, Coastal Kitchen, Jizake

Favorite breakfast and morning beverage: Croissant and a chai tea latte

Favorite lunch and beverage: Carne Asada Salad & Diet Coke

Favorite snack/treat/dessert: Dark chocolate


Geraldine Jacome - 1st Grade Teacher

Birthday: 2/14

Favorite holiday/season/time of year: Fall

Favorite flower: Hydrangea

Favorite color: purple

Hobbies: painting, hiking, decorating

Favorite candle scents: lavender

Favorite places to shop: Trader Joe, Target

Favorite places to relax: beach or forest

Favorite places to dine: Maison Cafe

Favorite breakfast and morning beverage: sourdough bread and coffee

Favorite lunch and beverage: salad water

Favorite snack/treat/dessert: nuts, dark chocolate, fruit tart

Other things that you love and think we should know about you: I love school, children's books, and learning


Miss Moreno - 2nd Grade Teacher

Birthday: 8/13

Favorite holiday/season/time of year: Christmas/Winter

Favorite flower: Marigolds/Roses

Favorite color: Purple

Hobbies: hiking/Disneyland

Favorite candle scents: Tropical/Coconut

Favorite places to shop: Disney/Starbucks

Favorite places to relax: Beach/Nature

Favorite places to dine: Italian/Mexican food

Favorite breakfast and morning beverage: Starbucks/Bagels

Favorite lunch and beverage: Chicken/Raspberry Iced Tea

Favorite snack/treat/dessert: Brownies/Cookies

Other things that you love and think we should know about you: Love Disneyland and love to go places where I can spend time with family.


Sue Paradise - Kindergarten Teacher

Birthday: 12/17

Favorite holiday/season/time of year: Christmas

Favorite flower: Peonies & Lilacs

Favorite color: Purple

Hobbies: Cooking, baking, traveling & crafts

Favorite candle scents: Vanilla & Floral

Favorite places to shop: Dollar Tree, Marshall's, T.J. Maxx & Homegoods

Favorite places to relax: Spa or Beach

Favorite places to dine: Casanova's, Lupe's or South of Nicks

Favorite breakfast and morning beverage: Toasted Everything Bagel w/cc & non-fat latte

Favorite lunch and beverage: Salad & Iced Tea

Favorite snack/treat/dessert: Popcorn & anything chocolate


Shirley Poster - 4th Grade Teacher

Birthday: 6/30

Favorite holiday/season/time of year: Christmas/ summer time!

Favorite flower: Anemone

Favorite color: Purple/aqua

Hobbies: Going to lake MV, swimming, reading, nature walks

Favorite candle scents: Something floral or stress relief from b&bw

Favorite places to shop: Target

Favorite places to relax: Near water, anywhere with a cup of coffee

Favorite breakfast and morning beverage: Iced coffee, bagels

Favorite lunch and beverage: Iced coffee, turkey sandwich

Favorite snack/treat/dessert: Red velvet

Other things that you love and think we should know about you: Manatees

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